Target Value Design

TARGET AUDIENCE:  Design-Build teams and Integrated Project Delivery teams.  May also be appropriate in early stages of Design-Assist if properly and timely deployed.

Target Value Design is a collaborative design process involving designers, builders, suppliers, estimators and Owners co-located in one place to collaboratively produce a design that provides the best value for the Owner.  Budget (the target value) is a design criterion.  The team designs to the budget instead of the conventional process of estimating the cost of the design, and then re-designing to eliminate overruns.  The TVD process employs Responsibility-based Project Delivery planning and relies upon lean systems thinking among team members.

TVD is often used effectively during programming or prototype design to weave the concerns of the end user into the design in order to drive down square footage and attendant costs. 

A number of collaborative techniques contribute to the TVD process:

  • Work Structuring includes a number of processes that assist designers and team members in making determinations about cost and value in the project (see following section). Work Structuring includes the following processes:
    • BIM: Model Based Estimating (real-time estimating) based upon the developed Building Information Model (BIM) assists the team in planning and re-planning subsequent cost-sensitive
    • Value Stream Mapping assists in optimizing project flow of materials and work.
    • Set Based Design: Standardized design concepts and set-based design are utilized, and final choice of design alternatives (systems) is deferred until the right combination of pre-analyzed sets emerges to simultaneously achieve design and target value goals.
    • Strategic Sourcing optimizes selection of trade partners.


Target Value Design usually proceeds by having the Core Group on a project develop cross-horizontal “clusters” to address various concerns in TVD.  The clusters are managed by the TVD liaison appointed by the Core Group who will coordinate weekly meetings and map results of the process against the expected cost.  Target Value Design plan is expected to proceed as follows:

  • All team members understand the business case of the Owner and stakeholder values
  • A cardinal rule is agreed upon by all performers—the Target Cost cannot be exceeded and the Target Program and Quality cannot be changed, except by the client
  • Cost estimating and budgeting are done continuously through intimate collaboration between owner, design professionals and cost modelers (all team members)—“shoulder to shoulder estimating”
  • The Last Planner® system is used to coordinate the actions of team members
  • Targets are set as stretch goals to spur innovation
  • Target cost and scope are allocated to crossfunctional TVD cluster teams, typically by facility, exterior, systems, roofing, skin, etc.
  • TVD  cluster teams update their cost estimates frequently—usually every few weeks during design development.   The project cost estimate is frequently updated (often weekly) to reflect TVD team updates (could be a plus/minus report), and reviewed in a weekly meeting of TVD team coordinators and discipline leads, but open to all project team members
  • The cost and quality implications of design alternatives are discussed prior to major investments of design time
  • Design is managed with a set based strategy, so that all time and resources available within project constraints are used to test and develop alternatives
  • The cost model is continuously updated to assure that on-going design is not exceeding budget
  • Target Value Design evaluation considers tradeoffs and opportunities (including function/cost trade-offs) to maintain total project target